Rodeo Donut

June 24, 2015

Doughnuts have always been one of my (many) guilty food pleasures – growing up, my dad would treat me to a doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts every Sunday. I decided to treat myself a couple Sundays ago to a more gourmet treat of the fried dough persuasion a doughnut from the Cupcake Royale “pop-up” Rodeo Donut. I love Cupcake Royale – not only do they do excellent cupcakes and ice cream, now they do craft, small batch doughnuts even non-hipsters can love. Because what’s not to like about a whiskey maple bacon doughnut??

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I’ve had less-awesome versions of bacon desserts – the bacon is mushy or the proportions are off. This one was just right – bacon was the correct texture and lended flavor without being gimmicky. Perfect if you love the sweet and salty combo… or the doughnut bacon combo. For something a little different, I got the Rodeo Queen:

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This was a filled doughnut, the inside being their homemade blueberry jam. The doughnut had a lovely, bright lemon flavor that livened up the blueberry filling. These people know their way around a doughnut… I’ll be back for more flavors (go different days for different kinds of doughnuts).

We All Scream…

June 18, 2015

I now count 5 ice cream parlors in walking distance to my Cap Hill apartment: Bluebird, Molly Moon’s, Cupcake Royale, Old School Frozen Custard and now Kurt Farm Shop. I’ve had their cheese before – OMG YUM – so I was pretty psyched when they opened a dairy stand in the new Chophouse Row site. They do the cow raising themselves (no, not in Cap Hill – the farm is on Vashon) and the ice cream is pretty unique in both flavors and texture. I got a scoop of the chocolate and a scoop of the salted plum to eat together.

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The flavors played nicely together but the chocolate was the real standout (I sampled a few other flavors as well). Rich, but strangely not very creamy, this had a deep chocolate flavor. Next time I’ll probably try it with the strawberry, but in any case that’s going to be my go-to flavor.

Speaking of micro-ice-creameries, I was lucky to come across Balleywood Creamery, usually found at the Ballard Farmer’s Market. The owner happened to be stationed on 15th Ave in Cap Hill for a day, and I happened to be walking down the street wanting ice cream (not an unusual state of affairs for me).

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The owner was super friendly and I was intrigued by the flavor combinations that featured more savory ingredients  – case in point, the strawberry ice cream was chock full of basil, balsamic, and black pepper (and far better than the Molly Moon’s balsamic strawberry flavor).

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I also bought the coconut milk lime flavor because if it’s vegan it must be healthy… right? It was amazing, as were all the flavors. I wish this little cart would catch some buzz, because it’s way under-hyped and just… really really good.

 

Portage Bay Cafe

June 10, 2015

I’ve always had a weakness for dessert for breakfast. Also dessert for lunch, or even dessert for dinner, but breakfast holds a special place in my heart. At Portage Bay, it’s easy to do. The berry bar, the pancakes, the French Toast… all are worth the calories. The huge number of calories. But I figure, if you’re going to overeat, make it count, so I got the Bananas Foster French Toast.

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This classic New Orleans dish is made with rum caramel sauce (at Portage Bay they use Seattle’s own Sun Liquor rum). Portage Bay’s French Toast is made with their homemade Challah (yessss please!) and a super eggy batter. Overall, extremely decadent and tasty. Also, possibly the best thing I’ve eaten so far this year. Portage Bay is crowded for a reason… believe the hype.

Seattle Biscuit Company

June 4, 2015

In my quest to eat pretty much every biscuit in Seattle, I made a special effort to track down the Seattle Biscuit Company food truck. I was pleased to find it Saturday morning in the Central District at Chuck’s Hop Shop (which, by the way, has excellent beer and food trucks along with a pleasant little patio). Not to be confused with Biscuit Box, which I wrote about in a previous entry, the Biscuit Company is proud of “hand-building” their biscuits and using locally sourced ingredients.

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The menu was mostly savory (and intriguing – I’d love to try the Che biscuit, with bacon, egg, cheese, ham, pickles, apple butter, and mustard) but there were a couple sweet options. The one that caught my eye: The Hickey Dewberry – just bacon and a generous helping of homemade jelly.

imageI loved the combo of sweet and savory – the jelly was the perfect counter to the salty, and perfectly crispy, bacon. In fact, the homemade jelly was my favorite part of the whole concoction – bright and intensely flavorful, sweet but with no shades of Smuckers. As for the biscuit, it was well-crafted and had good flavor. I did wish for a bit more flaky-ness and a crackly exterior, but overall it gets the thumbs up.

Adrienne’s Cakes and Pies

May 30, 2015

The U-District Farmers Market is one of my favorite foodie activities in Seattle, and I was excited to see how many new dessert vendors they’ve added. I restricted myself to just one on this last visit, but I’ll be back to try the others. I chose Adrienne’s Cakes and Pies because the fresh rhubarb won’t be around forever, and I can’t say no to strawberry rhubarb pie.

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There was a decent selection of mini-pies and cupcakes, and I chose two of each. (Side note: the best thing about mini-pies is the high crust-to-filling ratio.)  For my cupcakes I picked the samoa and chocolate:

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The samoa cupcake didn’t do it for me (a little bland) but the chocolate cupcake was excellent (especially the cake part) and the pie was on point. But the winner was actually the mixed berry pie:

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I loved the crust of both pies, but the mixed berry had the right amount of sweetness and an incredibly bright taste.  Adrienne’s doesn’t have a storefront, but makes appearances at several farmers markets (including West Seattle and Columbia City). Check the website for details and then check them out!

Cheeky Cafe

May 24, 2015

Waiting in line for brunch is the thing most likely to make me hangry so I was pleased at the number of open tables at the Cheeky Cafe in the Central District Sunday at noon. This friendly little cafe has a pretty interesting menu – you can get a Hawaiian breakfast of loco moco or spam and eggs, or do the more traditional American breakfasts. I got a “Cheeky Cake” which is basically a giant pancake with the filling of your choice – I went with sliced bananas:

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Yes, yes, yes! Perfect start to my day, and I loved that I could just get a single one to avoid the total food coma that would have come with a full order. Their other pancake fillers were intriguing, especially the green tea… I’ll have to come back and try them all. Nothing beats dessert for breakfast.

Uptown Espresso

May 24, 2015

I stopped by the Uptown Espresso location in Belltown because I was in the area and needed a pick-me-up, but I was pleasantly surprised to see an array of baked goods made at their Queen Anne location. I went with some favorites (one banana bread, which is a favorite snack of mine) and a peanut butter cookie (the barista’s favorite).

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I’d say the barista was spot-on with his cookie recommendation. The cookie was not mushy or crackly crunchy, but was in between. Tender but textured with excellent flavor. The banana bread was good as well, but the cookie was the one worth returning for.

Chocolat Vitale

April 25, 2015

Seeing as how April in Seattle has been about as cold as February, I thought I’d take myself out for some hot chocolate at Chocolat Vitale in Phinney Ridge. Oops, did I say hot chocolate? I meant drinking chocolate, of course! The difference is in thickness – drinking chocolate is a much thicker, richer version of hot chocolate… and therefore better. This little chocolate/beverage cafe does it right, complete with steamed milk and your choice of chocolate.

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I chose the darkest available, a dark cocoa from Venezuela (you can also get it as a mocha, which I imagine would be divine).  The owner disappeared into the back and returned a few minutes later with a steaming, foamy, and incredibly chocolatey cup:

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I also got one of her own chocolates (most of hers are imported from Europe) – a dark chocolate nut cluster. It was good, but the true highlight was indeed the drinking chocolate, which was electrifying and comforting at the same time. It had a deep, complex flavor, and easily satisfied my chocolate cravings for the day. In case you were wondering, the drink can also be ordered cold – so I’ll be stopping by again this summer!

Intrigue Chocolates

April 20, 2015

Fran’s and Theo’s chocolates are easy to come by in Seattle, but if you’re in the mood for more of an adventure (and to me, a trip to Pioneer Square is always an adventure), check out Intrigue Chocolates. It’s hardly a chocolate shop – more like a kitchen where you can sample and buy what they’re making. Aaron, the owner and chocolatier in chief, will share generous samples and explain the process for eating an Intrigue ganache truffle: don’t chew it, let it melt in your mouth!

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If you’re lucky, he’ll also let you try the “zombie” mixture – they basically melt down all the unused chocolates (all different flavors) and pop it in the fridge until it hardens back into a ganache – with every bite a different flavor. I walked away with a sampler (note, these must be kept refrigerated):

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My favorite flavors were Jamaican Hot Chocolate, Basil, and Earl Grey. You can expect strong flavors along with the obvious love and care that goes into the chocolates. I highly recommend stopping by – they’re open Saturdays until 4 PM and it’s fun just finding the place, which is tucked away up a staircase and down a hall. Make it an adventure.

Lunchbox Lab

April 11, 2015

When the sun’s out, I want ice cream – or better yet, a milkshake. I’ve loved milkshakes since I was a kid, but adult milkshakes (AKA boozy shakes) are even better. There are several places in Seattle that will give you a quality boozy shake (Hot Cakes being my personal fave) but nothing beats the variety at Lunchbox Lab.  A chill restaurant to being with – they have excellent burgers and bomb tater tots – it only gets better with their grown-up shakes.

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Did I mention the variety? I got the banana cream milkshake with vanilla rum. This satisfied both my love of banana desserts and my love of milkshakes. Oh and my love of alcohol. I’ve also had a very satisfying Oreo milkshake with whiskey.  My friend got a Nutella milkshake with I-forget-what-tasty shot:

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She sucked hers down – I took longer to finish. I’m usually good with half a milkshake, but I couldn’t let the rest of mine go to waste!  Lunchbox Lab has an epic happy hour and pleasant outdoor seating with a fire pit. And they’re open late! Definitely on my “most beloved” Seattle restaurant list.


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